SALT LAKE CITY — The Mountain Ridge Sentinels are the highest-scoring team among Utah’s 6A girls lacrosse teams, and with senior Bekah Bargeron in goal, they’ve been able to become one of the top teams in Utah this year.
Their next step is to earn the school’s first state title.
The Sentinels wore down Lone Peak 15-8 Tuesday in a semifinal match at Westminster University’s Dumke Field to move one step closer to that goal.
Emmery Clark scored five goals, Paige Runia scored four goals and Tessa Mortenson scored three goals as Mountain Ridge took an early lead and rarely felt threatened on a sunny, warm afternoon on Dumke’s artificial turf field. Bargeron remained composed while turning away 14 shots, which helped prevent Lone Peak from getting any momentum in this match between the second and third seeds.
With the win, Mountain Ridge improved to 16-2 overall and, after going undefeated and winning the Region 3 crown, the Sentinels will try to earn their first trophy from the Utah High School Activities Association when it plays top-seeded Skyridge Thursday at nearby Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman and should have a big crowd of students as it finishes only its third school year.
“It’s exciting, and there will be a lot of buildup (at MRHS) the next couple of days. We had a good team last year, but we needed want to take it up a notch this season and play the toughest competition we could,” said Mountain Ridge coach Angie Erescia. “Bekah is good at staying focused when things don’t go her away.”
The win was also important to Erescia for another reason. This is her first year at Mountain Ridge after serving as a coach on Lone Peak’s squad previously.
Erescia arrived on a team blessed with height and athleticism, and that helped the Sentinels score four times in the game’s first five minutes. The Sentinels led 8-3 at half. Lone Peak cut the margin to 12-7 with about five minutes left, and had several chances to get the ball past Bargeron, but she stopped each attempt to prevent another Region 4 championship game, which has happened in so many sports already this school year.
Lauren Suri had three goals for Lone Peak, which finished 14-4 and was hoping to get another chance at Skyridge after losing both times to the Falcons during the regular season.
Skyridge 22, Syracuse 11
The Falcons earned their 11th straight win and showed their No. 1 RPI ranking was no fluke by rallying from an early deficit to handle Syracuse in the day’s first semifinal.
Haven Buechner scored six times and Brooklyn Gibson had four to lead the way. Syracuse took control early and led 5-4 before the game turned. Skyridge went on a 10-2 run to close the half, and Gibson and coach Colin Gill agreed that it was Tiger Parkin’s goal as time expired that made the biggest difference.
“By then, we were winning the free balls, and (Parkin’s goal) was a real momentum thing,” Gill said.
Parkin was making her first start this season. Parkin, Kaylee Cooper and River Buechner added three goals each, helping Skyridge open the second half with goals on four straight possessions, which deflated Syracuse’s hopes of a comeback.
The Falcons improved to 15-2 and, while the school has won several sports titles since it opened in 2016, the girls lacrosse squad will be vying for its first title. Skyridge and Mountain Ridge have not met yet this season.